Exploring the relationship between patient call-light use rate and nurse call-light response time in acute care settings

Huey-Ming Tzeng, Janet L. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Patient call-light usage and nurse responsiveness to call lights are two intertwined concepts that could affect patients' safety during hospital stays. Little is known about the relationship between call-light usage and call-light response time. Consequently, this exploratory study examined the relationship between the patient-initiated call-light use rate and the nursing staff's average call-light response time in a Michigan community hospital. It used hospital archived data retrieved from the call-light tracking system for the period from February 2007 through June 2008. Curve estimation regression and multiple regression analyses were conducted. The results showed that the call-light response time was not affected by the total nursing hours or RN hours. The nurse call-light response time was longer when the patient call-light use rate was higher and the average length of stay was shorter. It is likely that a shorter length of stay contributes to the nursing care activity level on the unit because it is associated with a higher frequency of patient admissions/discharges and treatment per patient-day. This suggests that the nursing care activity level on the unit and number ofcall-light alarms could affect nurse call-light response time, independently of the number of nurses available to respond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalCIN - Computers Informatics Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Accidental falls
  • Call light
  • Hospitals
  • Inpatients
  • Nurses
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

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